Skip to content
  • New method for building antibiotics could produce ‘thousands’ of drug candidates

    The Verge - 05/18/2016

    Kim Lewis, director of the antimicrobial discovery center at Northeastern University, also questions the utility of these compounds in overcoming antibiotic resistance. The best way to avoid resistance is to create entirely new kinds of antibiotics, he says. However, in this case, the method yields variants of macrolides, which might be useful for medicine in general, but “isn’t a terrific solution to resistance,” he says. That’s because some bacterial strains are tolerant to new drugs simply because they’ve been exposed to existing antibiotics — a phenomenon called “cross-resistance.”

    lava Epstein, a microbial ecologist also at Northeastern University, was more blunt. Resistance to variants of macrolides develops fast, he says, so it’s important that researchers find out how quickly a pathogen develops resistance to these new compounds in the lab. “I am surprised the reviewers of their manuscript did not ask for such simple data of such importance,” Epstein says. It’s also unclear from the study if these new compounds are toxic to human cells. “My point is, it is way too early to say if the synthetic efforts are any better than [modifying existing antibiotics], which is criticized in the paper, or any better than discovery from natural sources, which the study doesn’t discuss.”

  • Cookies on Northeastern sites

    This website uses cookies and similar technologies to understand your use of our website and give you a better experience. By continuing to use the site or closing this banner without changing your cookie settings, you agree to our use of cookies and other technologies. To find out more about our use of cookies and how to change your settings, please go to our Privacy Statement.